Dear Male Relative, Your Sexist Joke Isn’t Funny AT ALL

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You posted the above image on a WhatsApp group we have in common. I bet you thought that was funny, didn’t you? Hilarious, just like that one tweet where some guy proclaimed, “The last time I listened to Ariana Grande, I almost died, too.”

This tweet is just as vile as that one, and deserves just as much scorn.

Now, I have to wonder why you posted this on a group where the male to female ratio is 1:1 and the dumb jerk to regular people ratio is 1: 5. And since there are exactly six people on the group, I don’t think it’s too difficult to figure out who that one person is.

Empathy is a challenge for you, so I’ll make it easy and tell you how seeing that makes me feel. It makes me mad. It sparks my rage, and sorrow, too, because the gender wage gap is my reality, and the reality of half the world’s population. There are people working to lessen it, and there are  people who are inadvertently helping by ensuring their own judgements are free of stereotype. And yet, change is slow.

As a woman who will shortly entry the workforce, this is not funny at all. As a person who believes in equality, it is appalling to see the underprivileged being mocked for their lack of privilege, by someone with privilege.

This is not about a joke having crossed a line. This is about who has the right to make a joke like that. A poor person can point and laugh at his poverty to other poor people. Here, everyone recognises the humourlessness of the situation because they’re dealing with it. It wouldn’t be okay for someone who wasn’t poor to joke about poverty. You may have the skull of a coconut, but surely this analogy is quite transparent?

I know that you aren’t sexist. I know that because you grew up around me, and it’s abudnantly clear that I am in no way inferior to you. I know that because you have seen the women in our family treated on par with the men. Perhaps the lack of discrimination in your sphere of existence lessens the seriousness of problems such as this one.

Whatever it is, this kind of joke is incredibly hurtful. It rubs salt on an already throbbing wound. It’s only a testament to how long we have known each other that any respect I have for you has only taken a massive hit rather than become virtually nonexistent.

I had no intention of making this a series, but I guess sexism isn’t going to stop doing it’s thing in my life any more than it will in anyone else’s. I was cushioned against its impact for many, many years, but evidentally, not any more.

The K-Pop Boy Band That’s Stealing American Hearts (and Awards)

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Image Description: All seven members of BTS pose with the award

I was going to bring you a live update of the frenzied voting for the Billboard Music Awards- specifically, the Top Social Artist category, for which BTS was nominated. There were some insane things going on. Conspiracy theories were furiously exchanged about the tricks that Beliebers had up their sleeves. Rousing speeches about how the odds were stacked against BTS amassed hundreds of likes in the comment sections of BTS’s music videos, even as Twitter polls showed that BTS had 200 million votes, and the only plausible contender, Bieber, had 21m. Tensions were high, folks. The ARMY literally could not. And it only encouraged them further when BBMA’s Twitter account groaned that the incessant voting had lead to their servers crashing.

Of course, now that BTS has won, that blog post is irrelavant.

Instead, we now have history in the making. A K-pop group has won a mainstream Western award, which clearly says something about the dedication of the ARMY. There ain’t no fan like a boy band fan, as Out magazine observed so rightly. Fans of BTS, though, are crazier than fans of Justin Bieber and the erstwhile One Direction, combined. They are ‘a force of freaking nature’, to quote Saga, that beloved comic which is not about superheroes.

As a direct consequence of their win, which comes shortly after the Shorty Award they took home recently, Western press is falling all over themselves trying to explain BTS to the laypeople in North America.

Consider Rolling Stone, for instance. And Vogue. No, not Teen Vogue. Vogue Vogue. How incredible (and incredibly predictable) is that?! Lists like ‘5 Things to Know About BTS’ which started cropping up after they were nominated have mushroomed after they won.

Teen magazines will probably follow suit, if they haven’t already. Imagine posters of BTS members tucked into Seventeen, along with Justin Bieber. That’d certainly be something.

It won’t be too much of a surprise if more people in North America have their hearts captured by outrageous costumes, synchronized dancing, and general cuteness- i.e., the potent force that is K-pop.

One small step for BTS, one giant leap for K-pop.

Image Credit: http://www.ibtimes.com

The Top 10 Comments on Every K-Pop Music Video

 

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Image Credit: koreaboo.com
Image Description: BTS V in a concert
  1. OMG, __________ is bias-wrecking me so hard right now. (New hair colours are nearly as potent in improving someone’s appearance as plastic surgery. It’s a fake fact.)
  2. Let’s get this to *insert viewing goal here* views! C’mon guys, WE CAN DO THIS! (The irony of droves of people spending time and energy in making a rich band even richer never seems to occur to anyone.)
  3. Honestly, after listening to their music, it’s impossible to like other groups because they’re literally the best in K-pop right now. Nobody else compares. (This comment is most is guranteed to be found on almost every popular band’s MV. Again, the irony.)
  4. Congratulations *insert fandom name here* on winning *insert award name here* ! This is why we’re the best fandom!! (Yes, do congratulate yourself. I’m sure you can put ‘helped BTS to win Shorty Award’ on your resume.)
  5. I showed this to my friend who hates K-pop two days ago. Now, he sings along to every song, and he’s not even Korean… LMAO. (This would be cool, if I thought you were telling the truth.
  6. New ARMY/V.I.P./EXO-L here! Who can tell me their names? (Scroll down, dammit. How lazy are you? You’re neither the first new person, nor the only one, and someone always posts a comment of the #7 ilk.)
  7. Hello new people! Welcome to the fandom. Here are the members, in order of appearance: *insert long list of names, places in the video, physical and character description* (Thank you for your service, and in return, I will tell you the truth about your life: you have far too much spare time on hand. But still, thank you.)
  8. Man, I don’t even like K-pop, but this song is so dope. (You poor fish. You don’t know it now, but in five days you will know everything there is to know about this group.)
  9. I was singing this in the office/bus/locker room and my boss/teacher/friend heard me and started singing along lol. Gave me a heart attack. (If I hooked you up to a lie detector, that’d give you a real heart attack. Stop making up scenarios for likes. This may have happened to someone at some time, but it definitely didn’t happen to you. Now leave.)
  10. Hi! *insert name of another fandom* here to support *name of this fandom* ! (Sigh. We all know what you’re here for, so here it is: a pat on the back. Good job, Marley.)

Pages From the Sketchbook: BTS (방탄소년단) V, Jin, Jungkook

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The last time I blogged about BTS, I’d listened to one song, and I wanted to know more about them… Now, I’d probably say they’re my current favourite band- no, artist, out of all genres/languages/ethnicities/gender orientation/towns of birth.

This was inspired by the Blood, Sweat and Tears MV. From top, they are based loosely on Taehyung, Jin, and Jungkook.

I did try to make it look like Taehyung when I started out, but I ended up with something completely different, so first, I complained loudly to a patient friend. And after that, I went with the flow and didn’t even try with the other two.

Someday, I will aim for (and acheive) a resemblance, but that’s NOT TODAY. (Get it? Get it? Haha, I’m hilarious! Okay fine, sorry.)

My Blog Post Went Viral?!

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Image Credit: http://www.dawn.com
Image Content: Shocked Taylor Swift grabbing her hair

No, not all my posts go viral. That’s why this is odd.

Most of my posts get views in the double digits, but for some reason, this post has a whopping THREE HUNDRED VIEWS.

I mean. How? Why? And why only this one?

I’m talking about my post ranting about why Bella Swan, from Twilight (just in case you confused this with some other Bella Swan) is the most annoying fictional character EVER.

It was published way after the Twilight series ended, when all the excitement had long died down.

And yet, for some reason, it racks up new views every single day.

This is a mystery to baffle even the greatest sleuth of all time.

Why is BgA shipping Jeungri and J-Lite So Hard?

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Image Credit: http://www.asianjunkie.com

   BgA, everyone’s favourite fake K-pop band which shook the foundations of the YouTube universe and got everyone SO PUMPED that I’m sure they’ll go on tour by the end of next year- but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. BgA is a K-pop band in the parody video created by Ryan Higa and the RHPC, and Wong Fu Productions. Their debut music video, “Dong Saya Dae”, became an enormous success, causing people to say things like, “BTS who? I like BgA!” and actually get away with it. (Warning: Do not try this elsewhere on the Internet. The BTS fandom name is ARMY for a reason. You will get pulverized.)

   After the debut, people relentlessly bludgeoned Ryan Higa with requests (and the other members too, perhaps, but I don’t stalk check their social media often) for a comeback. And what a comeback it was. “Who’s it Gonna Be” became no. 1 on the K-pop charts, beating *actual* K-pop groups. That’s a pretty phenomenal victory. I think it was the lack of poop jokes in this one that spurred it all the way to #1, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

   Everything BgA has done thus far has been for the solitary purpose of parodying what real K-pop groups are like, from the way they made ridiculous lyrics for “Dong Saya Dae”, to showing how one member’s popularity causes him to leave the band and go solo in “Who’s it Gonna Be”.  One thing, however, was different: The very obvious shipping which was absent from the first video.

   It’s extremely blatant that they’re pairing Justin Chon (J-Lite) and Jun Sung Ahn (Jeungri), except this ship is real. It’s part of the joke, but it’s also taken seriously, with a meticulously crafted cute moment towards the end of the video. Other than that, this relationship doesn’t seem very, uh, healthy.

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Image Credit: @BgAARMY on Twitter

 All their ship-able scenes, except the last one, are filled with Justin bullying Jun. Anyway, everyone is shipping them with gay abandon regardless. (Heh heh. Get it?)  Justin and Jun have a ship name, and that hashtag is everywhere. (It’s #JUJU if you were wondering. I’m sure you were. No biggie, I read minds.) Jun posted the above picture of them on Instagram. That awkward moment when the ship ships itself. (I know it’s not 2014 any more, but I couldn’t resist.)

    Anyway, the real question is, why? Why pair up Jun and Justin? Is it to:

  1. Add another facet to the BgA concept as a whole, thereby making it a more interesting experience for fans due to added emotional investment?
  2. Reference how K-pop music videos often show the members paired up? For example, BTS has several overlapping ships within it. (Hey, you. Taekook shipper. I see you.)
  3. Add a romance, thereby making it complete? Phil (erm, P-Dragon), maker of romantic dramas and shorts, probably couldn’t sit idly without adding some relationship-y feels to the storyline.

As for me, I don’t ship JUJU. Yeah, the bullying isn’t real, but I still don’t like it. Et toi?